Category Archives: USA

The Centre Can Hold Because of the Cleansing of the Church

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

William Yeats, The Second Coming

 

All three groups of Russian Orthodox émigrés have now been cleansed off their extremes:

In 2006 the Patriarchate of Moscow suffered schism in Great Britain and France as the vestiges of old-fashioned modernism and ecumenism finally cast themselves off. Those who adhered to their Russophobic cultural prejudices and desire to dilute Orthodoxy into just another department of Western Establishment ideology left the Russian Orthodox Church for the pseudo-Orthodox US-run Phanariot group in Turkey. The Church was cleansed of those who had no love for the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Christian Empire of Orthodox Civilization and preferred compromised Western secularism to the fullness of the Church of God.

In 2007 ROCOR, the Church Outside Russia, in turn at last lost its censorious, sectarian fringes in tiny schisms to various strange and extremist sects which justify phariseeism. The Church was cleansed.

Now, in 2019, the Rue Daru Archdiocese (the former ‘Paris Jurisdiction’) has lost its extremists, in fact rather a large minority of modernist marginals. Why has it taken so long? Because this was the group most deeply infected by extremism, in this case, of the ‘liberal’ kind, so well-known for its intolerance and terrorist witch-hunts against faithful Orthodox over the decades. As a result, many had already left, even decades ago, persecuted by modernists and freemasons in the group. The minority dissidents, who prefer to celebrate Parisian philosophers who died 60-80 years ago rather than the Saints of God, will now fully merge with the US-run Turkish group in the Phanar (if they have not already done so).

Many of this dissident group are in England. There is also one parish in Brussels that has left for the Romanian Church (its Russophobic priest had already been suspended by the Turkish group a few years back, so he could not return there) and some parishes in France which still remain undecided. However, the fact is that Church has been cleansed, with the Orthodox returning to the Russian Church, the extremists falling away. Moreover, many in Paris who had left in disgust that the Church there was not commemorating the Orthodox Patriarch Kyrill, the leader of the Orthodox world, already returned last Sunday to congratulate Archbishop Jean, who was in tears of joy, on his final decision.

As perhaps the only priest who had suffered from ‘the blood-dimmed tide’ of all three groups of aggressive, troll-like extremists, I cannot but rejoice with our brothers and sisters who have at last escaped the clutches of the Phanariots. The plot of the Phanar to hand over St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Paris to Ukrainian schismatics and rededicate it to apostate traitors and mass-murderers like the robber of souls, Andrei Bobola or Josaphat, has failed.

Meanwhile, the Phanar’s incoherent and schismatic head, Patriarch Bartholomew, yesterday met Pope Francis and the head of the Ukrainian Uniats in Rome to discuss merging the Uniats with his tiny and failed OCU organization in the Ukraine. A joint Phanariot-Papist Galician Synagogue of Fascist Ukrainian xenophobes may soon be formed there, uniting all haters of the Church of God. It will be financed by the State Department in Washington, which has already sent out its ambassadors in the Balkans to bully and bribe Local Churches into recognizing the Galician Synagogue. In this they failed.

The centre can hold – because only extremes fall apart, and this is how the Church is cleansed. Glory to God for His Providence, for the evil inflicted by the Phanariots has had the reverse effect. The Orthodox have been strengthened, being cleansed from the pseudo-Orthodox fringes who have fallen away.

 

 

Brexit and the Rue Daru Break-Up: How Politics Strangely Mirrors Church Life

Brexit and the USA

For nearly fifty years it was virtually impossible to get a job in the British diplomatic service if you were anti-Common Market (later called the EEC, then the EC and finally the EU). When the alien UK Establishment turned its back on the English people and the English-speaking world and finally joined the then Common Market on I January 1973, Ireland and Denmark, whose economies depended on the UK, were also reluctantly forced to join it. Today we live in a different world. When a crassly undiplomatic (not to say inept and stupid) British Establishment diplomat in Washington insults the US President, he has to sack himself. The world has changed. Britain has turned to the USA and the stodgy old pro-EU diplomats are lost. They have not seen the way the tide has turned in the last ten years. This is a sea-change but also a return to the past; the European flow has ebbed.

The UK is about to have a Prime Minister who was born in New York and was until recently a US citizen. Shades of the half-American Churchill? The UK is about to dissolve, as the purely artificial Northern Ireland at last returns home to form the long-dreamed of United Ireland. As for Scotland, it will inevitably regain its independence after over 300 years, leaving Wales to become independent. As for England, enslaved to upper middle-class Norman Britain for nearly 1,000 years but the eighth largest economy in the world, it is about to abandon Continental Europe after the Establishment’s disastrous fifty-year flirt with the EU and return to itself. Where does this leave Continental Europe? It will inevitably return to Eurasia – from which it cut itself off. It will increasingly come under the influence of the Russian Federation (China standing behind it), a Russia which is also European.

The Two Parts of the Russian Orthodox Church

All of these present events have been foretold by events in the Russian Orthodox Church. Here an American bishop from the USA has been appointed from the Russian Church in New York to Great Britain and Ireland to replace a Continental European bishop: it is a Church brexit. And so a whole diocese has been reborn under the wise direction of the Canadian-born Metropolitan Hilarion of New York. It is clear that the future of the Russian Orthodox Church here is with the New York-based ROCOR, which over the last twelve years, since Moscow and ROCOR were reconciled in 2007, has become an American-Russian Church, the Church of the English-speaking world and countries in the US ‘backyard’, like Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Haiti, other countries in Latin America, countries of Australian Oceania and now also Great Britain and soon to be reunited Ireland too.

Meanwhile, in Continental Europe at the end of 2018 the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow established an Exarchate, centred in Paris, only last Wednesday opening another new parish, this time in the Faroe Islands. (Eurasian in its double-headed essence, the Church also added nine new parishes to its South-East Asian Exarchate, in Myanmar (one), Vietnam (two), South Korea (two) and the Philippines (four)). Already with some 200 parishes, the Russian Orthodox Exarchate, dependent on Moscow, with its six bishops in Continental Western Europe, is expanding with Rue Daru priests (like the elderly and senior Fr Jean Gueit) and Rue Daru parishes joining it, as they leave the sinking Rue Daru ship. Here there is nothing new: this process has been going on for thirty years already. In the coming months there will be several more newcomers/ returnees.

This tiny group, hopelessly divided, with the ‘liberal’ side insulting its lone bishop in the true intolerant anti-episcopal Rue Daru tradition, has to choose: to be faithful to the Russian Tradition, which it used to claim to belong to, or join the ‘Euroliberal Tradition’ of Constantinople, which the Institut Saint Serge and the Bussy Convent have already chosen. That suicidal and schismatic path is for those who have no tradition, typical of the equally suicidal EU, which has abandoned the Christian Tradition and so has no tradition. Those who choose the Russian Tradition will live and prosper. And this is true for Continental Europe in other senses too. The choice has become clear: either return to your Christian roots or become an irrelevant schizophrenic secularist/Muslim backwater. The EU ship, like the Rue Daru ship, is sinking: stop rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, it is too late.

 

75 Years Since D-Day

I well remember how on the 22nd anniversary of D-Day, 6/6/66, my mother told me that on that day in 1944 she saw the skies of southern England turn black with aeroplanes. This was D-Day, the greatest naval operation and invasion, 6,000 vessels and 9,000 aircraft, of all time. Tens of thousands of young men were to die in the following three months, together with 20,000 French civilians, tragically killed, mainly by notoriously indiscriminate Allied bombing.

This Allied invasion did liberate Western Europe from the Nazis, a liberation which would have happened anyway, but by the Red Army. Instead of fighting its way from Stalingrad only to Berlin, it would instead inevitably have fought its way from Stalingrad to the shores of Normandy, no doubt by the early summer of 1945 after its conquest of Berlin in early May 1945. Thus, with D-Day, instead of being occupied by the red star of the Soviet Union (SU), Western Europe was occupied by the white star of the United States (US).  The speed of  Allied success after D-Day was greatly helped by the hugely successful Soviet Operation Bagration which began, as had been agreed in Teheran, on 22 June and greatly weakened Nazi resistance in Normandy. It can be said that the real political aim of D-Day for the US was, after having achieved its priority of domination of the Pacific, its desire to prevent the occupation of Western Europe by the victorious Soviet Union, which is why that invasion took place so late in the war.

Today, as Great Britain prepares to leave Western Europe through Brexit, pragmatically and warmly backed by the half-Scottish President Trump who has just visited London, we prepare not for an Anglo-American invasion of Western Europe, but for an Anglo-American retreat from Western Europe. Three generations have reversed the situation of 1944, but the old relationship has been renewed. What is to come is not sure, but the hand of history is upon us.

Fr Andrew

Southern England, 6 June 2019

On the Elections in the Ukraine

Rampant corruption and a State-created civil war in the East, with 13,000 dead so far, separatism in the east, the south and the west – this is what faces the US-puppet President of the Ukraine, the billionaire oligarch and arms-dealer, Petro Poroshenko (as he calls himself – his real name is quite different). Ruling over what has made into the poorest country in Europe, he has also managed to set up his own private ‘Church’ (rather like Henry VIII), through US pressure on the sad so-called ‘Patriarch of (non-existent) Constantinople’. Today, Poroshenko has faced elections and is unlikely to win – especially after the public revelation that he got to power by killing his own brother, Mihail, just as in some medieval Kievan principality. Perhaps the US will sponsor another mafia thug and put him in power. This is, after all, what it has been doing for generations in its ‘backyard’ of banana republic Central and South America and in the Caribbean. The problem is that today the US reckons that the whole world is its backyard. Thus it meddles on every Continent and on every ocean and sea.

The history of US-created gangster regimes and corrupt organizations, from the appallingly cruel Saud family of Saudi Arabia (admittedly set up by the British, like former Shah-ruled Iran), to the Marcos family in the Philippines, from NATO to the EU, from the IMF to the OECD, from the CIA to the World Bank, from the Fascist colonels of Greece to the freemasons of corrupt Italy, from the gangster dictators of Haiti to those of Cuba, from South Korea to Thailand, from Nicaragua to the CIA Hussein in Iraq, from Afghanistan to Panama, from Kosovo to Argentina, from Australia to Africa, from Israel to South Vietnam, overthrowing President de Gaulle in France in 1968 along the way and quite possibly poisoning Pope-John-Paul I in 1978, is a very bloody one. The Ukraine is only one story in a very long line. But what will happen when the USA collapses? Then freedom will come to the peoples of the world and, notably, the Communist-created Ukraine will collapse into its component parts, as each returns to where it came from. And this will be the first day of freedom.

The Self-Genocide of the West

The Self-Genocide of the West
 

Paul Craig Roberts
 

Stephen Cohen and I are branded “Russian dupes” and “Putin agents,” because we object to the highly orchestrated and false portrayal of Russia as a threat to the West, a portrayal that is leading to war. The purpose of this orchestration is to prevent President Trump or any future president from reducing the dangerous tensions between nuclear powers that have accumulated since the Clinton regime. The military/security complex has resurrected its Cold War enemy so necessary for its outsized budget and power and intends to keep Russia as The Enemy. The Democrats have an interest in the villification of Russia as “Russiagate” explains Hillary’s loss of the 2016 Presidential election and gives Democrats hope of removing President Trump from office. The media lacks independence, knowledge, and integrity and is the tool used by the military/security complex to control explanations, a prostitution of the media that has made the term “presstitutes” an accurate description. As strategic and Russian studies are largely funded by the military/security complex, the universities are also complicit in the march toward nuclear war. Republicans are as dependent as Democrats on funding from the military/security complex and the Israel Lobby.
 

All of this self-serving is driving America and its vassals to war with Russia, which might also mean with China. The war would be nuclear and be the end of the West, an act of self-genocide. The US national security establishment is so crazed that Trump’s efforts to get off the war track and onto a peace track are characterized as treason and a threat to US national security. See for example:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/23/opinion/trump-mattis-syria-afghanistan.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion

 
The Russians are aware that the accusations and demonization that they experience are fabrications. They no longer see the problem as one of misunderstandings that diplomacy can overcome. What they see now is the West preparing its populations for war. It is this perception for which the West is solely responsible that makes the situation today far more dangerous than it ever was during the long Cold War.
 

In his just published book, War With Russia? (reviewed here:https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/12/22/if-truth-cannot-prevail-over-material-agendas-we-are-doomed/ ), Stephen Cohen documents the creation of the “Russian threat” that serves a few material interests at the expense of life on earth.
 
 

In the article below, Cohen asks if it is more important to impeach Trump than to avoid nuclear war.
 

Do Russiagate Promoters Prefer Impeaching Trump to Avoiding War With Russia?
 

The new Cold War is not a mere replica of its 40-year predecessor, which the world survived. In vital ways, it is more dangerous, more fraught with actual war, as illustrated by events in 2018, among them:
 

The militarization of the new Cold War intensified, with direct or proxy US-Russian military confrontations in the Baltic region, Ukraine, and Syria; the onset of another nuclear arms race with both sides in quest of more “usable” weapons; mounting, but entirely unsubstantiated, claims by influential Cold War lobbies, such as the Atlantic Council, that Moscow is contemplating an invasion of Europe; and the growing influence of Moscow’s own “hawks.” The previous Cold War was also highly militarized, but never directly on Russia’s own borders, as is this one, from the small nations of Eastern Europe to Ukraine, a process that continued to unfold in 2018.
 

Russiagate—allegations that President Trump is strongly influenced by or even under the sway of the Kremlin, for which there remains no actual evidence—continued to escalate as a dangerous and unprecedented factor in the new Cold War. What began as suggestions that the Kremlin had “meddled” in the 2016 US presidential election grew into mainstream insinuations, even assertions, that the Kremlin put Trump in the White House. The result has been to all but shackle Trump as a crisis-negotiator with Russian President Putin. Thus, for attending a July summit meeting with Putin in Helsinki—during which Trump defended the legitimacy of his own presidency—he was widely denounced by mainstream US media and politicians as having committed “treason.” And twice subsequently Trump was compelled to cancel scheduled meetings with Putin. Americans may reasonably ask whether the politicians, journalists, and organizations that assail Trump for the same kind of summit diplomacy practiced by every president since Eisenhower actually prefer trying to impeach Trump to avoiding war with Russia.
 

The same question can be asked of major mainstream media outlets that have virtually abandoned the reasonably balanced and fact-based reporting and commentary they practiced during the latter stages of the preceding Cold War. In 2018, for example, their nonfactual, surreal allegation that “Putin’s Russia attacked American democracy” in 2016 became an orthodox dogma and the pivot of their Russiagate and new Cold War narrative. Also unlike during the preceding Cold War, they continued to exclude dissenting, alternative reporting, perspectives, and opinions. Still more, these media outlets persist in relying heavily on former intelligence chiefs as sources and commentators, even though the role of these intel officials in the origins of the Russiagate narrative now seems clear. A striking example of media malpractice was coverage of the maritime conflict between Ukrainian and Russian gunboats on November 25, in the Kerch straits between the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. All empirical evidence available, as well as Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s desperate need to bolster his chances for reelection in March 2019, strongly indicated that this was a deliberate provocation by Kiev. But the US mainstream media portrayed it instead as yet another instance of “Putin’s aggression.” Thus was a dangerous US-Russian proxy war fundamentally misrepresented to the American public.
 

In large part due to such media malpractice, and despite the escalating dangers in US-Russian relations, in 2018 there continued to be no significant anti–Cold War opposition anywhere in mainstream American political life—not in Congress, the major political parties, think tanks, or on college campuses, only a very few individual dissenters. Accordingly, the policy of détente with Russia, or what Trump has repeatedly called “cooperation with Russia,” still found no significant supporters in mainstream politics, even though it was the policy of other Republican presidents, notably Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan. Trump has tried, but he has been thwarted, repeatedly again in 2018.
 

Meanwhile, the charge that Russia “attacked American democracy” and continues to do so might best be applied to Russiagate promoters themselves. Their allegations have undermined the America presidency as an institution and cast doubt on US elections. By criminalizing both “contacts with Russia” and proposals for “better relations,” and by threatening to weed out a capacious and nebulous body of “disinformation” in US media, they have considerably diminished the vaunted American marketplace of free speech and ideas. Also under growing assault are traditional concepts of US political justice, which, at least based on what is known in regard to Russia, have been abused in the cases of Gen. Michael Flynn and, in Soviet-like fashion, of Maria Butina. At worst, this young Russian woman seems to have been an undeclared (but candidly open) advocate of “better relations” and an ardent proponent of her own country. For this, something long pursued by young Americans in Russia as well, she was held for months in solitary confinement until she confessed—that is, entered a plea. And this in a nation that has long officially “promoted” democracy abroad.
 

Finally, while US political and media elites remained obsessed with the fictions of Russiagate—which increasingly appears to be Russiagate without Russia and instead mostly tax-fraud-gate and sex-gate—post–Soviet Russia continued its remarkable rise as a diplomatic great power, primarily, though not only, in the East, as documented recently in three highly
informed publications far from and scarcely noted by the US political-media establishment.
 
Meanwhile, Washington’s primary base of allies in world affairs, the European Union, continued its slide into self-inflicted, ever-deepening crisis.
 

SAYONARA, ‘ AMERICA FIRST ’! WE HARDLY KNEW YOU!

THE VIEW OF THE WORLD OF A GENUINE GREEK ORTHODOX

“None of this is America First. In a sane policymaking world, Trump should be looking to cut a spheres of influence deal with Putin (and with Xi and maybe with India’s Narendra Modi)”

James (Jim) George Jatras

President Donald Trump’s cancellation of his planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Buenos Aires G20 is another sign of the now almost certain demise of his declared “America First” agenda – and perhaps of his presidency. Supposedly decided in response to a Ukraine-Russia naval incident in the Kerch Strait, dumping the meeting is universally and correctly seen as a response to the guilty plea of his former lawyer and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, to lying to Congress (notice thatJames Clapper isn’t forced to plead to his perjury before the Senate) and Cohen’s disclosure of Trump’s fruitless business dealings in Russia.

Keep in mind that this comes at a time when grand inquisitor Robert Mueller is on thin ice – or would be, if Trump and his team had a clue. Consider: in just the past few days Jerome Corsi, Roger Stone, and belatedly perhaps even Paul Manafort have delivered what amounts to a case against Mueller’s underlings, including subornation of testimony they knew to be false – a felony punishable by five years in the slammer (18 US Code § 1622 – Subornation of perjury). Is Trump or any of his lawyers thinking of having the victims swear out a complaint and instructing the Justice Department actually to prosecute these miscreants? No, of course not, even though at least Corsi appears to be willing.

Likewise Trump threatens to declassify “a wide swath of ‘devastating’ documents related to the Mueller probe, which he had initially planned to do in September before changing his mind” on the beseeching of British Prime Minister Theresa May. Britain’s worst prime minister ever is desperate to hide the fact that at its root there’s nothing Russian about “Russiagate” but there’s lots and lots of British MI6, GCHQ, and other Five Eyes skullduggery aimed at subverting the 2016 US election and preventing any possible rapprochement between Washington and Moscow. With respect to both goals this massive PSYOP and political warfare campaign by the US-UK Deep State has been a smashing success.

Trump has the goods on them but just sits on his hands and threatens. (He should heed that great philosopher Tuco from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: “When you have to shoot, shoot – don’t talk.”) For those patiently waiting for Trump’s “4D chess” game to unleash QAon’s “Storm,” here’s a news flash: the cavalry is not coming to the rescue. The following are just a few names that will never be brought to justice: Rod Rosenstein, Peter Strzok, Bruce Ohr, Andrew McCabe, James Comey, Lisa Page, Andrew Weissmann, Stefan Halper, Christopher Steele, Joseph Mifsud, Richard Dearlove, Andrew Wood, Susan Rice, Loretta Lynch, Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Samantha Power, Sally Yates, Jeannie Rhee, Eric Holder, James Clapper, John Brennan, and Barack Hussein Obama. Oh, and Hillary Clinton of course (while the whistleblower on her corrupt activities gets raided by the FBI).

These august personages are not subject to the laws binding on ordinary mortals like thee and me. These scoundrels will skate. All of them. That’s why a smug, world-class criminal like Brennan can mock Trump’s complaints as similar to how “corrupt authoritarian leaders abroad behaved before they were deposed.” He already anticipates dancing on Trump’s (probably figurative) grave.

Back to the Cohen plea, it’s entirely likely it was timed to have precisely the result of scuttling the Trump-Putin meeting. There can be no better illustration of the weakness of Trump’s position than his inability to engage in even a semblance of statesmanship with respect to the leader of the one power on the planet with which the US absolutely must have some minimal working relationship.

With the Democrats set to take over in the House of Representatives in just over a month, we’ll soon seeintensified investigations coordinated with Mueller to find any possible pretext for impeachment in Trump’s business or private life. It’s conventional wisdom that even if the Democrat-controlled House can find something to support articles of impeachment the GOP-held Senate will be Trump’s firewall. Bunk. Democrats rallied around their president Bill Clinton but it was Republicans who threw Richard Nixon to the wolves. Are there a dozen or so Republican Senators who would be ready to dump Trump and install Mike Pence in the Oval Office? You betcha. Start with Mitt Romney.

As the noose around Trump’s neck continues to tighten, his response will be to keep on carping about how unfair it all is, that there was no collusion with Russia, that it’s a “total witch hunt” that should be ended. All true, all meaningless. He has the weapons to fight back but lacks the knowledge or personnel to use them. So he complains. He tweets. Meanwhile, on substance he’s jumping up and down like a monkey on a string.

Which leaves us asking: Why?

One of the burdens carried by those of us Deplorables whoearly in 2016 declared our support for the then-improbable candidacy of Donald Trump has been the taunts of those who “knew better.” Trump was a fraud, they said, “just a BS-ing con man who would say anything to get elected.” He was a stalking horse to help usher in President Hillary (what other Republican could she possibly beat?). He was crude, impulsive, irritable, egotistical, dyslexic, and incapable of and uninterested in learning anything he doesn’t already know. He was a flimflam artist who had cheated everyone he’d ever done business with or been married to and would abuse his lumpen Muricanpolitical supporters in Flyover Country accordingly. He was just another globalist neocon flunky of the Israelis, the Saudis, and the Deep State who was only mouthing populist rhetoric to get elected. He was a shyster on the make whose only goal was to enhance his “brand” to get even richer. He was a huckster with big assets in Russia, Saudi Arabia, China, and other nasty, nasty places, who just wanted to make a killing on his investments. And so on …

Those of us who supported Trump (and who still struggle to support him) point to his repeated use of America First and national interest language even when it was politically counterproductive and only served to subject him to vilification by Democrats and establishment Republicans alike. Ditto his repeated appeals for better relations with Russia, even at the cost of being accused of treason by the same antagonists and their media shills. Ditto the claim from a hostile source like Bob Woodward that behind doors Trump repeatedly tries to do the right thing, like get the US out of Afghanistan and Syria, but then is overruled by “experts” who are his nominal subordinates. Ditto his seeming “art of the deal” transformation of his bluster and threat competition with “Little Rocket Man” into the best chance for peace on the Korean peninsula in seven decades. From his unscripted comments and tweets, there always seems to be a little 2016 Candidate Trump fighting to get out of President Trump but never quite succeeding . . .

But how then to explain histerrible, horrible, no good, very bad national security team? His beeline to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and NATO headquarters in his maiden foreign policy trip to reaffirm mindless hostility to Iran and America’s suicide pact with useless so-called “allies” in Europe? His authorization of lethal weapons to Ukraine? His two cruise missile strikes on Syria on transparently bogus claims of chemical weapons use? His ever-tightening of sanctions on Russia and nonstop expansion of NATO? His continued naval provocations against China?

To characterize as “low” expectations of any Trump-Putin sidebar meeting that might have happened at the G20 is putting it extremely mildly. (Who knows, maybe they’ll still manage to steal a few sweet moments for a quick tête-à-tête, like a secret tryst of illicit lovers. Maybe Strzok and Page can provide some pointers.) Even laying aside the endless navel-gazing about what President Trump really wants, and why his administration’s foreign policy bears almost no resemblance to his 2016 America First platform, it’s pretty clear that in practice the US course will remain essentially a continuation of the failed policies of the past three decades: a futile attempt to maintain US global hegemony indefinitely at any cost. That can have only one hideous outcome.

With regard to Russia, the Kerch Strait incident will serve as another pretext for sanctions that will soon be added with the predictability that night follows day. The ongoing trade war with China (on purely economic grounds not wrong in itself) serves as a backdrop for continued dragon-baiting in the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait, and Xinjiang, all places where the US has no actual interests. Even Trump’s minimal potential as a wrecking ball to disrupt the dysfunctional commitments he inheriteddoesn’t seem to be working out. The Swamp-critters to whom he’s entrusted his administration dance along their merry way as though Mitt Romney or ¡Jeb! Bush were president, with little or no interference from their nominal boss.

On top of hastening the bankruptcy of the US, the danger of war with Russia, or China, or both will continue to increase. Neither Russian President Putin nor Chinese President Xi Jinping can still have any illusions about that and are planning accordingly. No one knows exactly when or where we will reach the point of no return.

Russian and Chinese officials have warned the US about their preparedness for war in so many words. No one in Washington is listening, except to the extent that the new report of a Congressionally mandated commission has concluded that despite spending on our military ten times what Russia does and three times China’s outlays, we still might lose a war to either of those powers.
So what do the Swamp-critters draw from that? We need to spend even more! And Trump will accommodate them.
The one bright spot so far has been on the Korean peninsula – for which Trump deserves great credit, though his minions are working overtime to avert the horrid prospect that peace might break out and we’d no longer have an excuse to keep troops in South Korea. On everything else, even where developments favor disengagement from involvements not conducive to American interests, Trump’s administration insists on digging back in.
For example, France’s “Little Macro” wants a European army. It’s a ridiculous pipe dream, especially since Europe faces no external threat except migration, against which a conventional force is mostly useless. But Trump should be thrilled to take him up on the offer and turn European security over to Europeans. Instead he’s trying to sink the idea.

Likewise, in the Syrian conflict it’s clear that with Russian and Iranian help President Bashar al-Assad’s government has beaten the jihadists sicced on that unfortunate land by the US and our so-called allies, but Washington won’t admit it and still hopes to leverage Assad’s departure. Why, because of ISIS, which Trump said was the sole reason we have thousands of US troops (illegally) in that country? No, but because of the need to oppose Iran and impose regime change in Tehran, as well as denying Moscow a “win.”

Iran (an Israeli obsession having no bearing on US security) is also the reason Trump declined to take the exit ramp the Khashoggi murder offered from our unnecessary commitment to the despicable Wahhabist regime in Riyadh. Instead he has doubled down on US support for Mohammed bin Salman while absurd plans for an “Arab NATO” proceed, as though one NATO weren’t already bad enough.

None of this is America First. In a sane policymaking world,Trump should be looking to cut a spheres of influence dealwith Putin (and with Xi and maybe with India’s Narendra Modi). Maybe that’s what Trump really wants, maybe it isn’t. Or maybe someone just gave him The Talk: “Do what you’re told, Mr. President, or you and maybe your kid will end up like Jack Kennedy.”

In the final analysis, it doesn’t seem to matter much what Trump wants. It would be only a small exaggeration to say that with respect to foreign and security policy Trump is now a mere figurehead of the permanent state. Even if Trump and Putin do happen to meet again, what can the latter expect the former to say that would make any difference?

As a signal of the approaching end of the short-lived hope of America First, cancellation of Trump-Putin is the penultimate act but not yet the final one. The fat lady’s aria will be when Julian Assange is dragged to Washington in chains, like some barbarian chieftain paraded in a Roman triumph.

Ultimately, as Ann Coulter writes (with respect to the Mexican border crisis, where Trump is at least doing slightly better than in foreign affairs but not by much), Trump might “only be remembered as a small cartoon figure who briefly inflamed and amused the rabble.” If so, his failurewill have frittered away theonly peaceful chance to avert the looming death of our nation at the hands of theCultural Marxist duopoly as well as to turn aside from thereal prospect of a world war – one from which America cannot emerge undamaged as we did from the first two.

P.S. I would be genuinely thrilled to be wrong about all of the foregoing.

After the Phanariot Schism the Pastoral Crisis Intensifies in the Diaspora

Today in the Ukraine, the CIA-trained, Kiev-regime secret police, the much-feared SBU, is summoning Ukrainian Orthodox bishops one by one to its headquarters for ‘a conversation’. The old KGB techniques and torture chambers may be used again, in case the bishops decide not to go over to the Phanariot schism. Ex-Patriarch Bartholomew will have blood on his hands, just like the US and the EU, which first created the bloody coup and bankrupt regime, which is propped up in Kiev by IMF (= US) money.

However, apart from in the Ukraine, the fact that the three million-strong Patriarchate of Constantinople under financial pressure (the $25 million dollars paid to it by the US administration) has broken away from the 164 million-strong Russian Orthodox Church has had little effect in the Russian Federation and Eastern Europe. But in the Diaspora there is a huge effect. Virtually every day we pastors are confronted with the catastrophic consequences: Where can I go to church and take communion now?

Russian, English and other Orthodox who used to rely on the many Greek Churches can no longer receive the sacraments there and are looking for alternatives. In England a whole ex-Russian, now Constantinople, convent/monastery has fallen away from the Church and is now out of communion with us. Conscious, non-phyletist and spiritually free Orthodox do not want to be in communion with the anathematized and defrocked former KGB Denisenko, in an affair of corruption.

Two priests and hundreds of people have already left Constantinople, but far more want to leave. They would leave, but they have nowhere near to go: they need new parishes, using the Orthodox calendar and also new buildings. And here we see all the consequences of historic incompetence, laziness and pastoral neglect of the flock. The decades of refusal by the Russian Church to meet the needs of the faithful in the past (‘they can go to the Greeks’) sound even more inadequate today.

There are those who need to stop persecuting pastors and support us. It is time to stop the attachment to a very few small if splendid church-buildings and pay attention to souls. It is all very well to say that the Russian Orthodox faithful are not to attend churches of the schismatic Patriarchate of Constantinople, but quite another to provide them with alternative churches and care. Here, just in the White Russian East of England, we need nine more priests, as we have been calling out for all this time, ignored.

Actions speak louder than words. The failures of the diplomats of the Church in Moscow, who preferred to celebrate in Phanariot churches instead of in ours, are clear. However, they can be made up for now by at last showing faithfulness and setting up the infrastructure of the network of churches which we neglected pastors in the Diaspora have been struggling unaided to set up for so many decades. Europe, the Americas, Oceania and so many worldwide await. Old sins do indeed cast long shadows….

 

“Whose Money Stoked Religious Strife in Ukraine – and Who Tried to Steal It?”

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/11/17/whose-money-stoked-religious-strife-ukraine-who-tried-steal-it.html

Whose Money Stoked Religious Strife in Ukraine – and Who Tried to Steal It?

Was $25 million in American tax dollars allocated for a payoff to stir up religious turmoil and violence in Ukraine? Did Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (unsuccessfully) attempt to divert most of it into his own pocket?

Last month the worldwide Orthodox Christian communion was plunged into crisis by the decision of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Constantinople to recognize as legitimate schismatic pseudo-bishops anathematized by the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is an autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church. In so doing not only has Patriarch Bartholomew besmirched the global witness of Orthodoxy’s two-millennia old Apostolic faith, he has set the stage for religious strife in Ukraine and fratricidal violence – which has already begun.

Starting in July, when few were paying attention, this analyst warned about the impending dispute and how it facilitated the anti-Christian moral agenda of certain marginal “Orthodox” voices like “Orthodoxy in Dialogue,” Fordham University’s “Orthodox Christian Studies Center,” and The Wheel. These “self-professed teachers presume to challenge the moral teachings of the faith” (in the words of Fr. John Parker) and “prowl around, wolves in sheep’s clothing, forming and shaping false ideas about the reality of our life in Christ.” Unsurprisingly such groups have embraced Constantinople’s neopapal self-aggrandizement and support for the Ukrainian schismatics.

No one – and certainly not this analyst – would accuse Patriarch Bartholomew, most Ukrainian politicians, or even the Ukrainian schismatics of sympathizing with advocacy of such anti-Orthodox values. And yet these advocates know they cannot advance their goals if the conciliar and traditional structure of Orthodoxy remains intact. Thus they welcome efforts by Constantinople to centralize power while throwing the Church into discord, especially the Russian Church, which is vilified in some Western circles precisely because it is a global beacon of traditional Christian moral witness.

This aspect points to another reason for Western governments to support Ukrainian autocephaly as a spiritual offensive against Russia and Orthodoxy. The post-Maidan leadership harp on the “European choice” the people of Ukraine supposedly made in 2014, but they soft-pedal the accompanying moral baggage the West demands, symbolized by “gay” marches organized over Christian objections in Orthodox cities like AthensBelgradeBucharestKievOdessaPodgoricaSofia, and Tbilisi. Even under the Trump administration, the US is in lockstep with our European Union friends in pressuring countries liberated from communism to adopt such nihilistic “democratic, European values.”

Perhaps even more important to its initiators, the row over Ukraine aims to break what they see as the “soft power” of the Russian Federation, of which the Orthodox Church is the spiritual heart and soul. As explained by Valeria Z. Nollan, professor emerita of Russian Studies at Rhodes College:

‘The real goal of the quest for autocephaly [i.e., complete self-governing status independent of the Moscow Patriarchate] of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a de facto coup: a political coup already took place in 2014, poisoning the relations between western Ukraine and Russia, and thus another type of coup – a religious one – similarly seeks to undermine the canonical relationship between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Moscow.’

In furthering these twin objectives (morally, the degrading of Orthodox Christianity; politically, undermining the Russian state as Orthodoxy’s powerful traditional protector) it is increasingly clear that the United States government – and specifically the Department of State – has become a hands-on fomenter of conflict. After a short period of appropriately declaring that “any decision on autocephaly is an internal [Orthodox] church matter,” the Department within days reversed its position and issued a formal statement (in the name of Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, but clearly drafted by the European bureau) that skirted a direct call for autocephaly but gave the unmistakable impression of such backing. This is exactly how it was reported in the media, for example, “US backs Ukrainian Church bid for autocephaly.” Finally, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighed in personally with his own endorsement as did the US Reichskommissar for UkraineKurt Volker.

The Threat…

There soon became reason to believe that the State Department’s involvement was not limited to exhortations. As reported by this analyst in October, according to an unconfirmed report originating with the members of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (an autonomous New York-based jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate), in July of this year State Department officials (possibly including Secretary Pompeo personally) warned the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (also based in New York but part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) that the US government was aware of the misappropriation of a large amount of money, about $10 million, from estimated $37 million raised from believers for the construction of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine in New York. The State Department warning also reportedly noted that federal prosecutors have documentary evidence confirming the withdrawal of these funds abroad on the orders of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. It was suggested that Secretary Pompeo would “close his eyes” to this theft in exchange for movement by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in favor of Ukrainian autocephaly, which helped set Patriarch Bartholomew on his current course.

[Further details on the St. Nicholas scandal are available here, but in summary: Only one place of worship of any faith was destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attack in New York and only one building not part of the World Trade Center complex was completely destroyed. That was St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a small urban parish church established at the end of World War I and dedicated to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, who is very popular with Greeks as the patron of sailors. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, and following a lengthy legal battle with the Port Authority, which opposed rebuilding the church, in 2011 the Greek Archdiocese launched an extensive campaign to raise funds for a brilliant innovative design by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava based on traditional Byzantine forms. Wealthy donors and those of modest means alike enthusiastically contributed millions to the effort. Then – poof! In December 2017, suddenly all construction was halted for lack of funds and remains stalled to this day. Resumption would require having an estimated $2 million on hand. Despite the Archdiocese’s calling in a major accounting firm to conduct an audit, there’s been no clear answer to what happened to the money. Both the US Attorney and New York state authorities are investigating.]

This is where things get back to Ukraine. If the State Department wanted to find the right button to push to spur Patriarch Bartholomew to move on the question of autocephaly, the Greek Archdiocese in the US is it. Let’s keep in mind that in his home country, Turkey, Patriarch Bartholomew has virtually no local flock – only a few hundred mostly elderly Greeks left huddled in Istanbul’s Phanar district. (Sometimes the Patriarchate is referred to simply as “the Phanar,” much as “the Vatican” is shorthand for the Roman Catholic papacy.) Whatever funds the Patriarchate derives from other sources (the Greek government, the Roman Catholic Church, the World Council of Churches), the Phanar’s financial lifeline is the ethnic Greek community (including this analyst) in what is still quaintly called the “Diaspora” in places like America, Australia, and New Zealand. And of these, the biggest cash cow is the Greek-Americans.

That’s why, when Patriarch Bartholomew issued a call in 2016 for what was billed as an Orthodox “Eighth Ecumenical Council” (the first one since the year 787!), the funds largely came from America, to the tune of up to $8 million according to the same confidential source as will be noted below. Intended by some as a modernizing Orthodox “Vatican II,” the event was doomed to failure by a boycott organized by Moscow over what the latter saw as Patriarch Bartholomew’s adopting papal or even imperial prerogatives – now sadly coming to bear in Ukraine.

…and the Payoff

On top of the foregoing, it now appears that the State Department’s direct hand in this sordid business may not have consisted solely of wielding the “stick” of legal threat: there’s reason to believe there was a “carrot” too. It very recently came to the attention of this analyst, via an unsolicited, confidential source in the Greek Archdiocese in New York, that a payment of $25 million in US government money was made to Constantinople to encourage Patriarch Bartholomew to move forward on Ukraine.

The source for this confidential report was unaware of earlier media reports that the same figure – $25 million – was paid by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to the Phanar as an incentive for Patriarch Bartholomew to move forward on creating an independent Ukrainian church. Moreover, Poroshenko evidently tried to shortchange the payment:

‘Peter [Petro] Poroshenko — the president of Ukraine — was obligated to return $15 million US dollars to the Patriarch of Constantinople, which he had appropriated for himself.

‘As reported by Izvestia, this occurred after the story about Bartholomew’s bribe and a “vanishing” large sum designated for the creation of a Unified Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine surfaced in the mass media.

‘As reported, on the eve of Poroshenko’s visit in Istanbul, a few wealthy people of Ukraine “chipped in” in order to hasten the process of creating a Unified Local Orthodox Church. About $25 million was collected. They were supposed to go to the award ceremony for Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople for the issuing of a tomos of autocephaly. [A tomos is a small book containing a formal announcement.] However, in the words of people close to the backer, during the visit on April 9, Poroshenko handed over only $10 million.

‘As a result, having learned of the deal, Bartholomew cancelled the participation of the delegation of the Phanar – the residence of the Patriarch of Constantinople, in the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia on July 27 in Kiev.

‘”Such a decision from Bartholomew’s side was nothing other than a strong ultimatum to Poroshenko to return the stolen money. Of course, in order to not lose his face in light of the stark revelations of the creation of the tomos of autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Peter Alexeevich [Poroshenko] had to just return those $15 million for the needs of Constantinople,” a trusted source explained to reporters.

‘For preliminary information, only after receiving the remaining sum, did Bartholomew finally give his consent to sending a delegation of the Phanar to Kiev … ‘

Now, it’s possible that the two identical figures of $25 million refer to two different pots of money (a cool $50 million!) but that seems unlikely. It’s more probable the reports refer to the same sum as viewed from the sending side (the State Department, the Greek Archdiocese) and the delivery side (Poroshenko, Constantinople).

Lending credibility to the confidential information from New York and pointing to the probability that it refers to the same payment that Poroshenko reportedly sought to raid for himself are the following observations:

  • When Poroshenko generously offered Patriarch Bartholomew $10 million, the latter was aware that the full amount was $25 million and demanded the $15 million Poroshenko had held back. How did the Patriarch know that, unless he was informed via New York of the full sum?
  • If the earlier-reported $25 million was really collected from “a few wealthy people of Ukraine” who “chipped in,” given the cutthroat nature of disputes among Ukrainian oligarchs would Poroshenko (an oligarch in his own right) have risked trying to shortchange the payment? Why has not even one such Ukrainian donor been identified?
  • Without going into all the details, the Phanar and the Greek Archdiocese have a long relationship with US administrations of both parties going back at least to the Truman administration, encompassing some decidedly unattractive episodes. In such a history, a mere bribe for a geopolitical shot against Moscow would hardly be a first instance or the worst.

As one of this analyst’s Greek-American connections puts it: “It’s easy to comprehend the Patriarchate bowing to the pressure of State Dept. blackmail… not overly savory, but understandable. However, it’s another thing altogether if Kiev truly “purchased” their autocephalous status from an all too willing Patriarchate … which would relegate the Patriarch to ‘salesman’ status and leave the faithful wondering what else might be offered to the highest bidder the next time it became convenient to hold a Patriarchal ‘fire sale’ at the Phanar?!”

To add insult to injury, you’d think Constantinople at least could pay back some of the $7-8 million wasted on the Crete 2016 debacle to restart the St. Nicholas project in New York. Evidently the Phanar has better things to spend it on, like the demonstrative environmentalism of “the Green Patriarch” and, together with Pope Francis, welcoming Muslim migrants to Europe through Greece. Of course maybe there’s no need to worry, as the Ukraine “sale” was consistent with Constantinople’s papal ambitions, an uncanonical claim to “universal” status, and misuse of incarnational language and adoption of a breathtakingly arrogant tone that would cause even the most ultramontane proponent of the Rome’s supremacy to blush.

Finally, it seems that, for the time being at least, Constantinople doesn’t intend to create an independent Ukrainian church but rather an autonomous church under its own authority. It’s unclear whether or not Poroshenko or the State Department, in such event, would believe they had gotten their money’s worth. Perhaps they would. After all, the issue here is less what is appropriate for Ukraine than what strikes at Russia and injures the worldwide Christian witness of the Orthodox Church. To that end, it doesn’t matter whether the new illegal body is Constantinopolitan or Kievan, just so long as it isn’t a “Moskal church” linked to Russia.